Body: Story Time with Beth Carlson-Malena and Cal Malena


This was the most beautiful Awaken gathering - thank you to all who helped make it happen!


Dr. Cal Malena is a ‘true blue’ Canadian Baptist. He grew up in First Baptist Church Prince Albert and then attended Avalon Emmanuel Baptist while studying to be a Chemical Engineer at the University of Saskatchewan. He went to the Baptist Leadership Training School (BLTS) before going on to Southern Baptist Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky and later did a doctorate at Golden Gate Baptist Seminary in San Francisco. His ministry started by directing Baptist camps at Katepwa and Christopher Lake in Saskatchewan. While working for Shell Oil in Calgary, he was involved in the planting of the new church - Bonavista Baptist. After seminary, he went to First Baptist Lethbridge as an Associate Pastor. After that, for the next 27 years, he was at Emmanuel Baptist Church in Saskatoon. For the last 12 years he has been at First Baptist Prince George, first as Lead Pastor and then as Pastor Emeritus when he retired in 2015.

Over these decades, Cal has been very involved in denominational life, teaching courses through the Carey Centre, serving on the Board and as President of Canadian Baptist Ministries. He recently served on the Board of Canadian Baptists of Western Canada (CBWC) for six years before being asked to resign because of his convictions on LGBTQ+ issues. Cal and his wife Joanne have 4 adult children and two grandchildren. They are active as allies to the Christian LGBTQ community and together they co-host a national support group for the parents of LGBTQ folks.


Beth grew up in Saskatoon and spent the first 22 years of her life at Emmanuel Baptist Church before moving to Vancouver to study theology at Regent College. While working on her MDiv, she spent several years living in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside, fostering friendship-building and community in her work with Jacob's Well Ministries, and co-pastoring a church plant called God's House. In 2013, she and her housemate Danice came out publicly, and they were married the following year. No longer able to work in the CBWC, they both accepted jobs with Generous Space Ministries, a Canadian non-profit dedicated to dismantling fear, division, and hostility at the intersection of faith, gender, and sexuality. Four years ago, Beth and her friend Mark launched a non-denominational affirming church called Open Way in Vancouver, where she co-pastors today, alongside her side-gig as a wedding officiant. 

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